Monthly Archives: January 2011

#3: Obsess about Outcomes.

Every other channel is so data poor that when I got into web analytics, like everyone else, I was ecstatic to see very specific customer behavior like the number of Visits! Man that was awesome!

Then I saw page views. And then time on site and unique visitors and browser types and % new visits and I became one happy data-shoveling monkey.

Here’s the amazing thing: everyone else who got all those reports thought I was quite simply magnificent. After all I had all this, as they put it: “OMG data!”

That only lasts a couple of months, six at the most.

Then no one cares because no one is any wiser and the business still stinks at the web.

I remember when I first created a simple spreadsheet with 12 rows that just summed up the revenue made by the divisions of the company (even that simple task no one had bothered to do) on the web. The CMO was shocked at how big the number was. The next day he approved a job req for a VP for the Web position.

Great lesson.

Companies care about money, non-profits care about impact, governments care about costs reduced. They all care just about outcomes.

Here is the only way to succeed at web analytics: Identify the business macro and micro conversions. Torture everyone to identify economic value of non-revenue micro conversions. Obsess about this analysis: What’s the economic value generated by the company? Why?

Your peers will think you are the embodiment of the messiah. Your boss will listen to your every recommendation. Your CEO will invite you to a private dinner with her/his family.

[Here is my personal recommendation in this context. Obsess about the outcomes for your customers. Use Kissmetrics or 4Q and measure primary purpose by task completion. Buy some sessions with UserTesting or Loop11. Feel the pain of your customers. Identify with their failures and hug / stalk as many people in your company as you have to in order to fix things. Deliver the outcomes your customers want and you’ll ascend directly to heaven when its your turn.]

Companies care about money, non-profits care about impact, governments care about costs reduced. They all care just about outcomes.

Everybody wants to be happy (except for goths and roadies, of course). However, in today’s fast-paced, fatuous, and often malodorous world, finding contentment can be difficult. To that end, all sorts of people will come forward claiming to hold the secret to happiness. Various religions insist you’ll be happy if you pray to their gods and follow their arbitrary rules concerning diet and masturbation. Minimalists claim you’ll be happy if you get rid of all your stuff and buy every single product designed and sold by Apple Inc. And Dr. Drew from “Celebrity Rehab” says you’ll be happy if only you’d put down that crack pipe and stop driving your car through crowded shopping malls.


I prefer to take a simpler approach, since none of the above philosophies changes the fact that, like it or not, we’ve all got to get crap done. Not only does getting crap done comprise most of our day, but it’s largely the stress and irritation that goes along with getting crap done that makes us so unhappy. Therefore, it would stand to reason that, if you can render getting crap done into fun, you can turn drudgery into delight. It’s sort of the alchemy of the mundane.



“Alchemy of the mundane” would be what I would name my secret society.